Duo partner on Steven Soderbergh thriller

Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures and year-old Open Road Films have partnered for Steven Soderbergh’s thriller “Side Effects,” which is set to start shooting in April.

Companies announced Wednesday that the film will be financed and produced by Annapurna and released in the U.S. by Open Road Films.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing with Gregory Jacobs and Scott Z. Burns, who also wrote the screenplay. Ellison, Marc Butan and Ted Schipper exec produce.

Companies are keeping plot details under wraps, with casting announcements expected in the coming weeks. Open Road will release the pic in the first half of 2013.

Soderbergh’s “Haywire” is opening Friday from Warner Bros., which also picked up Soderbergh’s drama “Magic Mike” last fall and set it for release June 29. HBO picked up Soderbergh’s Liberace film “Behind the Candelabra” last fall as a TV pic starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.

Filmnation is handling international sales for “Side Effects” on behalf of Annapurna and will introduce the project to buyers at the Berlin Film Festival next month.

The deal was negotiated on behalf of Open Road Films by topper Tom Ortenberg, general counsel and exec VP of operations and business affairs Elliott Kleinberg and senior VP of acquisitions Ben Cotner.

Upcoming Annapurna films include John Hillcoat’s “Wettest County”; Andrew Dominik’s “Cogan’s Trade,” starring Brad Pitt; Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grandmasters”; Kathryn Bigelow’s untitled project about the capture of Osama Bin Laden; and Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master,” starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams.

Open Road Films’ first release was “Killer Elite.” It’s launching “The Grey” on Jan. 27 and “Silent House” on March 9.

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